The AKP’s Ataturkism

The ruling party is seeking support from this fashion and appearance that it hopes will be transient. Without abandoning its vested “rights”: the religious vocational high school education system and calculations over using women to further conservatisation, it is getting out its suit, hat and discoloured rosette left over from the time of Evren.
10 Kasım 2017 Cuma - cumhuriyet.com.tr
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Meanwhile, it has left the masses that support it free to visit Atatürk’s mausoleum, on condition that they do not let themselves get carried away.
 
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It is transient. It will be until the 2019 elections, if that. If not, there must be no doubt that the intimidation and violence will widen in scope. Those who lived through 12 March and 12 September know well that politicians and especially coupist politicians make good use of the tides of fashion. “Evren Ataturkism” was expounded on in jails to the accompaniment of three meals of beatings, and intense effort was devoted towards effacing the anti-imperialistic pro-independence, developmentalist and democratic traits espoused by socialists and Ataturkists and dispelling and disbanding organisations.
 
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It is quite apparent what they want. Given that the people cannot be prevented from venerating Atatürk as the “founding father” and, moreover, there is the danger of this inclination forming relations with revolutionary organisations and becoming radicalised, it was thus necessary to reach for the hat, rosette and suit. The killing and hanging of revolutionary youth, who aligned themselves in principle with Kemalists and Ataturkists on the basis of anti-imperialism, was conducted with brutality – anti-intellectualism was an indispensable component of this policy. It is a lesson; the lesson is for those who do not see the academics hounded out of university and the journalists in jail and who want to return in peace to their posts saying, “Well, look, the AKP is softening and has finally seen the truth.”
 
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It is a good idea to look first at the true nature of things. There is no way conservative politicians can be Ataturkist. This is how it has been ever since the first parliament. The conservative group has over the Republic’s brief history managed to stay on its feet and to come to power following the waning of the revolutionary flux of the first years. Over the past twenty years, indeed, we have seen the strengthening of shariaist trends and the reinforcement of the hegemony of the dervish lodges and hermitages and religious orders that were forbidden in Atatürk’s time. With objectors to these going-ons now tending to kick up a stink and the ruling party front racked with internal conflict, an AKP leadership that is besieged at home and abroad is forced to resort to this transient tactic.
 
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It is necessary to look at the contents and not the envelope, at those pushing for Sharia and not the suits. For sure, there will be those who attach importance to “appearance”. Even now, those who yearn for a return to the “mutual back-scratching” policies of old, and who have absented themselves from the fight both in parliament and in the street and do not wish to march there, have started to pipe up. The ruling party is, in its own words, “metal fatigued”. The trend of dissipation that started on 7 June continues unabated. The results obtained through the use of force and fraud on 1 November and in the referendum give them no solace. Hence, they find it convenient to put on “Ataturkist” masks and return to taqiyya methods.
 
This new fashion may perhaps be branded “state of emergency Ataturkism”.
 
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It will not catch on. We are confronted by a new situation that promises hope for the people and which is underwritten by struggle. This is something that may be effective with social democrats who stick to the “notion of engaging in leftism while heading towards the right” seeing the truth, or else despite them.
 
The socialist left, having expanded its potential to organise internally, will, as long as it does not lose its identity and purpose, rock the boat of conformists from all milieus. Let them do so, it is good. But the main thing is the possibility that presents itself of playing an effective part in an intense effort towards a “revolutionary democratic republic” and this is even better.

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